Weekend Watchdog

Bill Scher

Every Friday in our Weekend Watchdog feature, we post suggested questions for scheduled Sunday guests. You can add your own questions in the comment thread. We’ll also include contact information for the shows, so we can let them know what their viewers want asked.

And on Sunday at 4 PM ET, tune in to Air America Radio’s “Seder on Sundays” program, where I’ll offer the Weekend Watchdog Wrap-Up.

Iraq and the Middle East look to dominate the Sunday shows, as the Bush administration sends its Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker to NBC’s Meet The Press and its top commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus to Fox News Sunday.

Here are some related questions that should be asked:

1. A professor at the U.S. Naval War College recently said in the LA Times (via Daily Kos) that, “the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation.”

At the onset of the war, President Bush said a new regime in Iraq could lead to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Now the Washington Post finds the Hamas takeover in Gaza shows the “Failure of Bush’s Mideast Vision.”

Does it even matter how well the current “surge” is executed, if the strategic objectives of the war are fundamentally flawed, and backfiring?

2. Last year when Iraq was rocked by the bombing of a holy Shia shrine in Samarra, White House and military officials all said that Iraqis “looked into the abyss and did not like what they saw.” But in fact, sectarian violence significantly worsened.

This week, when the same shrine was attacked, Gen. Petraeus talked of “astonishing signs of normalcy” in Baghdad.

After repeatedly insisting things were getting better in Iraq when they clearly were not, why should Americans trust what their leaders have to say now?

And for Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is scheduled to be on CBS’ Face The Nation:

3. Last month you said, ““The handwriting is on the wall. We are headed in a different direction, in the fall, in Iraq. And the president is going to be the one to lead the way.”

What is that new direction? Why must we wait until the fall to see it? And if we don’t see a new direction from the President, will you vote for a new direction to redeploy our troops?

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